Paul Haggis, who has recently been big news in the world of 007 because of his work on the Bond 22 screenplay, sat down for an interview with The Guardian‘s Mark Lawson to talk about his new film, In the Valley of Elah and, among other Bond-related details, his fear of forever ruining the 007 series.
As earlier reported, Haggis said that despite the current WGA strike, production on Bond 22 is still moving ahead. ‘[The script] was just about finished,’ he said. ‘I was just doing the last few polishes and it starts shooting in a few weeks.’
When asked if he was surprised at being initially approached to assist with Daniel Craig’s debut Bond film, Haggis replied: ‘Well, yes, when they came to me with Casino Royale I thought they were out of their minds. I asked my agents, “have they seen my movies?” I said, “they know I am going to ruin Bond forever. They know that right?” But they said they’d like to take a chance and it was a collaboration with Michael [G. Wilson] and Marc [Forster] and they asked me to work on this one, which I was more than happy to.’
Lawson then brought up the point that Bond 22 would be different since Casino Royale had additional screenwriters (Neal Purvis and Robert Wade), to which Haggis added: ‘There had been on this one as well but they decided to take the plot in another direction, which often happens.’
‘I really thought I was going to ruin it, but I thought it would be a heck of a lot of fun trying. And so when they encouraged me to take that darker side of Bond I ran with it. I think it’s the job of the writer to make the producers nervous and the job of the producers to talk sense into the writer. But they’ve been very supportive and they are very supportive on this one. We send things back and forth and I like that. I don’t always like people who agree with me. I like people who challenge me, because there are too many people in Hollywood who just tell you what you want to hear.– Paul Haggis on Casino Royale and Bond 22
After the interview, Haggis then answered several questions from the audience in which details were revealed on how Casino Royale‘s finale in Venice was originally envisioned somewhat differently:
‘I loved the script and I loved Daniel Craig and [the producers] were really supportive,’ said Haggis. ‘They came to me and I said: “I think the biggest problem with the script is that you don’t have an act three. Would you like one?” And they said yes…
Lawson: So that’s Venice?
‘Yeah, and the draft that was there was very faithful to the book. And there was a confession. So in the original draft the character confessed and killed herself. And then she sent Bond to chase after the villains. And Bond chased the villains into the house. And I don’t know why but I thought that Vesper had to be in the sinking house and Bond has to want to kill her and then try and save her and she has to kill herself.’
There’s much more… Check out the entire two-page interview with Paul Haggis at The Guardian website.
Keep watching CommanderBond.net for all the latest news and details on Bond 22, which hits theatres in November 2008.